Harmony Slater has been teaching Ashtanga Yoga in the Mysore method for over a decade. She was first introduced to Yoga in 1995, and began practicing Ashtanga Yoga in 2000. She always had a keen interest in spirituality and the art of physical movement, which culminated in fifteen years of dance training and two BA degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies.
In 2002, she traveled through China researching Buddhist meditation and in 2004 she made her first trip to Mysore, India. That same year she moved to South East Asia where she began a journey of teaching Yoga Internationally, which allowed her to spend long periods of time practicing with Sri K Pattabhi Jois and his grandson R. Sharath Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, now the KPJAYI.
Harmony was given Authorization by Guruji in 2006, and was granted Certification by Paramaguru Sharath Jois in 2015.
Over the years she co-founded two traditional Ashtanga Yoga Schools in Canada. The first was established in 2009, in Victoria BC, and the other is found in Calgary AB, where she currently teaches and resides. With the birth of her son Jediah, life became full and sweet, and she experienced the dawning of yoga within every aspect of daily life.
My Story – Harmony A Journey of Self-Discovery
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves”
— Nisargadatta Maharaj
As a child and into my youth, I spent many years training as a ballet dancer. Consequently I struggled with eating disorders and addiction. I always had a keen interest in spirituality, and was brought up in a Christian family who talked openly about God and matters of the heart.
As a young adult, a search for meaning overtook my love for dance. I recognized that I was fighting a losing battle with an insatiable desire to embody an ideal form that was by its very nature, unattainable. I was grasping at trying to gain some control over an overwhelming onslaught of negative thoughts that were consuming me. I longed for a deeper connection to something beyond myself.
This search eventually led me to discover the practice of Ashtanga Yoga. I was studying Buddhism and Sanskrit at the University of Calgary, where I completed double degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies, when I felt a strong pull to connect more deeply to the practical side of these ancient teachings I was learning about.
In 2002, I traveled to China with a field school to research Buddhist Meditation. For six weeks, we lived and practiced in several monasteries in remote areas of the countryside. These experiences encouraged me to pursue more actively the path of Ashtanga Yoga in conjunction with a meditation practice. Since then, I have been fortunate to connect with the Vipassana style of meditation, as taught by S. N. Goenka, and have taken the opportunity to delve deeper into this discipline through sitting multiple silent retreats.
I made my first trip to Mysore, India in 2004, to practice and learn under the direct guidance of Sri. K Pattabhi Jois and his grandson R. Sharath Jois. With the exception of the year my son was born, I returned annually since that first trip and occasionally twice within the same year. From the very first time I met Guruji my heart was flooded with a deep feeling of love and reverence. He was able to transmit so much through a simple touch, his penetrating gaze or with only a few simple words. Those early years of practice with him solidified my dedication and devotion to this lineage. I remember for the first time feeling completely at peace within myself. This experience was so real and deep, I knew this was the path for me.
I have found that time I spend in Mysore is the heart of my practice and source for my teaching. Directly learning from Guruji and Sharath has touched every aspect of my life. The ritual of immersing myself into the culture of India and connecting back to the roots of yoga continues to keep me inspired and each time forces me to go deeper within myself, to grow, and develop even more trust in this powerful, authentic practice. In 2015 I received 'Certification' from Sharath Jois, which is the highest acknowledgment one can receive from the KPJAYI in Mysore and is an official permission to teach the Advanced A Series.